Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Water's back, but his temper is running hot

Letting a tap drip will cost him

  • Print
Todd Kerr's water pipes were frozen for 17 days before they thawed on their own. He wants to keep the tap running so they won't refreeze, but the city says it'll cost him.

CRYSTAL SCHICK / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Enlarge Image

Todd Kerr's water pipes were frozen for 17 days before they thawed on their own. He wants to keep the tap running so they won't refreeze, but the city says it'll cost him. Photo Store

Todd Kerr finally has water flowing through his taps, but he is angry with city hall.

Kerr was without water for 17 days at his King Edward Street home when inexplicably the waterlines thawed on their own.

When Kerr notified the city about it, they cautioned him against leaving a tap on, as he would be responsible for additional water usage on his water bill.

"They said, 'You can (run a tap), but we're not going to compensate you for it,' " Kerr said. "They're telling thousands of people to run their water, but mine was frozen for 17 days and they're telling me they won't compensate me if I let mine drip."

Kerr, who lives alone, said he doesn't understand the city's reasoning: Property owners whose lines are thawed are advised to leave a tap running to prevent a refreeze, and the city will waive the additional cost on the water bill.

"So they'd rather run the risk of my lines freezing again and getting back on the backlog. That makes no sense."

Kerr said a 311 operator told him if the waterlines thawed on their own, the freeze must have occurred at some point on Kerr's property and the city will not waive the additional water charge in those circumstances.

Kerr said what really upsets him is city officials never went to his home to inspect the line.

"Yet some kid (the 311 operator) laughs at me and says they know it froze on my property. They don't know that. They never inspected my house.

"Some kid (the 311 operator), he's laughing at me and says, 'We don't need to come to your home. We've been doing this for 100 years.' "

Kerr said the backlog for thawing services has become so long the city no longer cares where the freeze occurred -- it's paying for the cost even if it's on private property.

The city stated that between March 10 and March 17, 394 additional properties reported frozen waterlines. A civic spokeswoman said only 18 of the 394 properties were among those in the at-risk area, where 5,447 property owners were advised to let a cold-water tap run 24 hours a day to prevent line freezing.

Kerr said he's concerned if he doesn't run his tap, his line will likely refreeze. "It's probably going to cost me about $500 to let a stream run for the next two to three months, but what choice do I have?" Kerr said.

A city spokeswoman confirmed the city's policy that property owners are responsible for the entire bill if the frozen waterline occurred on private property. The spokeswoman said city waterlines will not thaw on their own as the weather warms.

aldo.santin@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 18, 2014 A5

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Key of Bart: Let It Blow

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A group of Horese pose for the camera in the early evening light at Southcreek Stables in Stl Norbert Wednessday. Sept  14, 2011 (RUTH BONNEVILLE) / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • Water lilys are reflected in the pond at the Leo Mol Sculpture Garden Tuesday afternoon. Standup photo. Sept 11,  2012 (Ruth Bonneville/Winnipeg Free Press)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Should Canada send heavy military equipment to Ukraine?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google